World

Muhyiddin unlikely to give in to Umno’s demands

PETALING JAYA: Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin is the midst of a web of intrigue and, depending on who you believe, is either capitulating to coalition partner Umno's demands for a Cabinet reshuffle or is standing firm.

Umno has 39 MPs, more than a third of the 113 in the Perikatan Nasional coalition that gives it a slim majority in the 222-strong Parliament.

Malaysia's The Star newspaper reported that he is unlikely to give in to Umno's demand s.

Mr Muhyiddin is believed to have informed his coalition partners that he does not intend to appoint a deputy prime minister or reshuffle the Cabinet, and that he was happy with the existing line-up as well as with the Umno ministers, the newspaper reported.

The Star also said he would not be attending the Muafakat Nasional meeting yesterday night, which is expected to take a stand on the state of affairs in the country following opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim's claim that he has the numbers to form a government.

Muafakat Nasional comprises Umno and Islamist party Parti Islam SeMalaysia.

But a Reuters report painted a different picture. It said, quoting sources close to the government and Umno, that Mr Muhyiddin has entered discussions to negotiate terms that could include more prominent Cabinet positions for the party.

"Umno is negotiating, and it shows they are not ready to exit the coalition," said one source.

Another Umno source said the party wants more say in deciding matters, such as who among the party are appointed to Cabinet and what portfolios they would hold.

WORLD